CavalierYou sat with one hand on the dashboard,
your other one shaking,
reluctantly dancing with a cheap cigarette,
that you were simply burning,
because something needed to die.
We didn't look each other in the eye,
except in the rear view mirror,
the irony not yet reflected.
I will never forget that six thousand mile stare,
many times your age shining from the endless deep,
the weight of everything you carry
written in ruptured veins.
"Old ghosts dancing again," I said.
"This is not very good," I whispered,
tightened throat and eyes aflame.
You echoed, and then you were gone.
I remained for a while, in that wreck of a Chevy,
marooned in a landscape of broken plastic,
trees of straws and cavernous containers,
all your books and other secret escapes.
Last chance to seeIt's a odd kind of feelingLast chance to see3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and an odd kind of peeling
the day you kiss your former self
that decisive goodbye,
then quickly rip your lips
from the parting.
There is no time frame,
no milestone markers
at the logical divisions.
One day you simply wake up empty,
a slight rumble in your snakeskin stomach,
then nothing but the seeping quiet.
Your flaking blood surfs the sloping light shafts
searching for new ground.
It is the last day, you see.
The furrows may remain,
but the uncertain air
PressureSomething broke.Pressure3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A hard CRACK while sitting in
a soft chair. No pain registered.
The absence of it
is like watching explosions in space.
You follow the curve of your skull. You remember
how skulls are formed like tectonic plates.
Your head wants to be a planet,
volcanic, living, in change.
You continue to your left shoulder,
the one with all the problems.
But today, it has nothing to say.
Your rib cage moves
like oceanic waves, expecting a storm
that hasn't come.
You stand up,
you consider your legs,
nothing feels wrong,
But you can break
more than your body.
The horror cycleYou leave me no choice but to leave the faucet on,The horror cycle3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
see what will come crawling, when all the water runs
out to embrace the sea.
There is a spluttering sound,
like porridge, like a sick child. There is no need for me
to check the source for answers. Everyone knows
from the primal smell.
Far out of sight, someone is driving a car,
singing happy tunes too hard, all rear mirrors cracked,
trying to think of anything but everything.
There is no passenger, of course. Everyone knows
from the lack of sense.
The water still runs.
It turns out that the sea becomes the sky
and the crawling goes in circles.
Autumn's Echo of PassingRows of dried corn stalks bendAutumn's Echo of Passing3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the wind that
thirsts for rain
that will only come when it has died
and the ears of corn cease to rattle.
And the thunder's distant laugh
will chase after the snakes
heading for their mounds on higher ground,
their husks abandoned-
the flash floods may yet pass them by.
HereafterGreat uncle Henry's funeral was on a SundayHereafter3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of deep skies and up-drafting clouds, and
everyone stood around the mahogany coffin as it
glistened in the drifting patchwork of sunlight
while I kept my eyes on it, knowing that soon
I would lose sight of it forever.
His mother died in childbirth, and he always felt
responsible. What a terrible weight on one's self.
I reached out to place my hand on the coffin
and murmured, "Your mother will explain, Henry."
My mind was blank during the long trip, and when
I got home, I sat alone in the kitchen and kept
dialing his voice message speaking from the
hereafter as I wept, before the service shut off.
Drunk textingI could tell itDrunk texting3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
every time that briar dirt branched from
the window in your hands, as if
it were flowers worth your time.
As if anything we wasted
past the glory,
past the dust.
You were not the half the liar
you thought you were.
I knew, you know.
Every seed I cultivated
I tasted lost, but
hope grows, right?
Here comes the ghost.
You threw yourself to your rapid ground.
Here comes the ghost.
Past the Sisters,
past the Tombs.
You said you loved me.
I didn't respond
ThrownBones heapedThrown3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like uncaught bonfires.
Crash lander, skyborn,
splintered like frostbitten stones,
like trees fallen deep
from the snow line.
Eulogy of a man that was,
and the name of his lover written
in femurs, vertebrae and ribs,
waiting for the thaw,
the salmon and the sea.
All memories carried by wolves
to their starving cubs.
Open skull for the rainfall
and the birds.
The landscape of skin
imprinted on the ground.
A fading map
with footstep borders
in the tide of time.
To the CoastLooking darkly to the back of the car,To the Coast3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I see ruin in her eyes.
We pass another town of murderers
cradled in the pines.
This is the way to the coast,
and it is her birthday.
The sky is ashen and pregnant.
I snap a picture of your hand in mine
to somehow make this real.
this makes the moment unforgettable.
She sleeps back there,
wearing my clothes
Here comes the Devil,
but we lose him
over the hill.
Here comes God,
but we lose him
at the sea.
eight things about growing up.eighteight things about growing up.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite something with wings so I could touch the clouds.
I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly.
That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)
My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human.
A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him.
I guess love is kind of like that, too.
Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October.
My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain
scar-crossed(my fingers are colder than the solemn bluescar-crossed3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
buried in her eyes. so much dead beauty,
like an ocean without waves).
she is fading and i cling to her,
and in this tiny little moment
we barely even exist.
EastMy window faces east, I sit at my desk and stareEast3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
at the headlights crawling west past the backlit buildings
Sometimes I watch from the roof, looking west
just to get a different view, but it's all the same
Days come and go, nights come and go, but I stay
There's a place by the ocean I dream about, early morning mist
grey water, grey skies becoming blue, solitude, stillness
I keep a key in my pocket with "love" written on it, and wonder
what it might unlock; maybe trade the city dust for ocean spray
Someday, one day, but not today, it's never today
I close the blinds against the rising of the sun and go back to work
But the key in my pocket is warm against my thigh, it says "fly"
But I wait; fate will find me in the right place at the right time
It always does, somehow, and my brain whispers to my heart
to be patient, good things wait, but farther down the line
A Gods DebtSutured together by artists,A Gods Debt3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
hallowed out, & spit back up,
( you are afraid. )
Hooks longing for her ribcage embrace;
god-hands that can't seem to keep to themselves
grapple the gargoyle exterior of her deflowered frame.
( spread your legs. )
Red-inked and trembling,
prosetry masked as screams
knots into her anatomy.
thoughts in my ankles 1.thoughts in my ankles3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sometimes i think i must be hanging
with hooks in my ankles
and chains strung to the stars, arms
wriggling to hug the planet close in
an attempt to reach the
and my eyes are bouncing
out of my head
on twine harnesses like they're
dancing on measuring-tape ribbons
until they slip and plummet and land far
below with a splat.
sometimes i think the moon has an
on a relapse-recovery-relapse
cycle. starving until
he disappears and then, frantically,
he climbs back into life,
gorgeous and round and bright
but the mirror cracks up
behind him and wraps her
arms around his neck again,
pinching cheeks and warning signs
and i watch from my twisted
perch in the sky.
if the skin of night is my notebook,
can they read the dark letters?
i hold pens b
they're all emptyEvery gap between my aching breathsthey're all empty3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
reminds me that you are not here to fill them.
How did I get this far on my own two feet?
By stumbling, crawling, and falling down stairs?
I've split my chin, fractured my skull, and watched ghost fingers
incisionsin my fragile skin.
How many times must I tear open my eyelids to realize that
CharlieCharlie couldn't dance anymore. His legs went bad, arthritis in the knees. It was a real tragedy, because Charlie always enjoyed the attention his dancing brought. It was the one thing that he could do well, and now it was gone. He'd never been much of a singer, and it was rather pitiful to hear him trying now, trying anything to grab the spotlight just a little longer. Charlie could feel death, and it wasn't far away. He couldn't speak about it to anyone but me, because it wasn't something you went around telling people. But he knew it was near, he told me. I was his confidant. Why? I don't know. He just took a liking to me for some reason. I was as young as you are when I first met him, when I was sneaking into bars and badgering people for drinks. Charlie always bought me one.Charlie3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Charlie hobbled off the stage with his cane to a smattering of applause, mostly sympathetic. I guess some were drunk enough to think they'd just heard Sinatra. Mostly sympathetic, though. We sat at a table and
TiredI am tired, heavy-footed, worn with wear I wear my hairTired4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Cold air blows through windows trying to nip the buds
I watch the cigarette smoke whip through the air currents
Saddened by the sun's insistence, shining on a day like
I am rust, I am crushed metal, junkyard darkness, graveyard
I can't remember when I remembered what I'm trying so hard
Fire in oil drums replace the sun and the screaming and singing's
I can't sing anymore, like Clancy can't, and the noise in my head's a
Mild SeizuresI went by that place today, the one with the sign like truckdrivers mudflapsMild Seizures3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It was boarded up, no more 'girls, girls, girls'
Where are all the hapless young men and hopeless old men now?
What new prison have they found?
I dreamed that I was playing eight-track tapes on my computer, r&b, and
hitting all the right keys without looking
I saw all the drawings you left for me.
The lady had to go to work. I shifted, and fell back to sleep.
I don't work anymore.
ZebraHer dress flows like a lazy riverZebra2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when the thaw is done with the complaints
and the woods shrug their heavy shoulders.
She got it at that antique mall by the sea,
I remember. We were talking
of ice cream and whale bones.
It looked like a skeleton on the rack
but it space queened her.
Nobody cares. I was
looking for video games
from the 80s.
Black caps going
"CK - Christ is King."
"A family that prays together
She wore dirty trainers
and she could have worn
She is still standing on that lawn,
looking like a takeoff.
I am still in that chair
thinking I could fly.
PaganWhen the tree limbs move madly aboutPagan3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And whisper incantations through their leaves
The moon is fat and full and brings gifts
To those who know the old stories
And place sweet dreams gently in their heads
These are the days and nights to be treasured
When the pumpkins are full and the grass is tall
A Pagan love song to the universe is sung
The world rests at ease for a short while
And everything is in its place
The WitchesThe witches speak a languageThe Witches2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
clearer than my mother's, the edge
of a blade, crack of broken glass,
silky slide of sin, come in, come in, in
my ear, a soft patting drum, the
spell bound lullaby
they croak and coo, all manner of
tone and it is sweet as the summer
tongue growing fat on hand cart ice cream
pops, brisk as the Boston cabbies,
neither here nor there, they are
ever here evermore. They are
inside me, flapper dancing
the pelvis bones, acutely out of
style and carefree, they have me,
the potion's daughter, their invitation
sheer formality. I am in, I am
in, I am deep
at the bottom of the cauldron.
Do you dare consume me? The woman
who gives cancer out freely and lives
to die yet never dies, the sick
anomaly. Can you hear them?
Press your ear
to the flat of my skin. I am
the cast-off shell of the sea,
hollow and rustling – that, there,
that is them – their greedy hands
are chanting, come in, come in,
Post MortemI am a walking, talking universe of dead poetsPost Mortem3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who tattoo their stanzas into my flesh
with ghostly, typewriter fingers.
I live and breathe their worldly disasters
like a nicotine addiction I've never had.
Drowning in their scribbles
I kiss their shoreline romances,
envy their Annabel Lee's,
& carry their hearts in my heart.
I am 7am coffee on Sunday mornings:
a half drunk, hungover limerick
waiting to happen.
I am jealousy:
nothing more than weak words,
& a tongue-tied cliche-
but death becomes me.
DivorceBefore that day,Divorce2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Sunday mornings had never occurred to me.
I must have slept through their every summons:
I never knew the time sensitive ritual of finding matching socks,
forcing “nice” shoes over misshapen toes,
the silent pact we would share with the warm cushions of the divan
waiting for Mother to ready us, memories that settle in the guts
like a madstone, which I could then pull out of my old cadaver
to save myself in the next life.
There were a few moments. Like that time, in the garage,
basking in Father’s sunrise sorcery as he fired his magic timing light
into the fluttering lungs of an engine, or when he let me aim
the water at his bucket, poorly, while he carved something
otherworldly into stubborn dirt.
I held nothing near of Sundays, nothing sacred, nothing dreaded,
save for the occasional shameful confusion
I would coax from my belly with dogged chimes
of christmas bells haranguing the church congregation
with their infernal sequence, hanging like nervou